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Lenovo’s LePad gets LeTeardown

3 May

Lenovo’s long awaited LePad finally made its Chinese debut back in March, and while we may not ever see the tablet stateside — not as LePad electronic gadgets, anyway — we can at least get a peak under the hood.

Thanks to a teardown by IMP3, we’re seeing the inside of the machine for the first time, and while there’s not much in the way of surprises here, it’s always nice to see what makes these things tick.

As we already knew, LePad’s packing the 1.3GHz Snapdragon chipset with Adreno 205 integrated graphics as well as an internal 27Wh battery. It’s also appears to be rocking Toshiba flash memory and a Wolfson audio processor.

So we might not have much in the way of revelations here, but at least now you know what the LePad electronic gadgets, or Skylight, or whatever, looks like underneath its skin.

 Source from Engadget

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Recipe for a successful Android phone

26 Apr

A glance at the history of Android phones will reveal the immense wave of Android handsets in recent years. In just 2011 alone, at least 13 new Android phones were released in the U.S., and it’s not even May. With these many phones on the market, it’s no wonder that Android adoption is on the rise.

The problem with there being so many Android phones electronic gadgets, however, is that it’s difficult for any one phone to stand out. Consumers have a hard enough time deciding which handset to get in the first place; imagine if they are choosing between phones that are practically identical. Even for seasoned reviewers like me, the phones tend to blend together after a while.

However, there are the occasional shining stars that stand out from the crowd. The T-Mobile G2x, for example, won an Editors’ Choice Award recently because of its top-notch features and performance, and the Motorola Atrix 4G won our admiration at CES with its innovative laptop dock. We’ve learned that there are a few important components that go into a successful Android phone, and we’ve decided to share our views here.

Great design
We’re not suggesting that manufacturers cover up their phones in Swarovski crystals to get us to notice them, but a good design is nevertheless important; it shouldn’t feel like a cheap throwaway phone you bought at a drug store. The handset should have a nice solid feel in the hand; this is a sign that it’s made out of good-quality materials. Glass displays are always welcome, and a capacitive touch screen is an absolute must. The technology behind the display is important, too; we’re usually impressed with Super AMOLED screens, as well as IPS and qHD displays that provide bright and vibrant colors. Smartphones electronic gadgets are increasingly used for watching movies and playing games, so the more vivid the display, the better. We also tend to favor larger screens because of this, though anything bigger than 4.3 inches may prove to be too much.

If manufacturers decide to add additional components like a slide-out keyboard, those should be well-made, too. The keyboard shouldn’t be too flat or slippery, and the sliding mechanism should snap into place when open. While we’re not entirely sold on the idea that thinner is better, an overly bulky phone is not desirable, either. On the whole, we want a phone that looks and feels great in the hand while not weighing down our pockets.

Simplify, simplify
I’m not averse to manufacturers and carriers putting their own spin on Android with their own skins and overlays, but I really do prefer it when less is done to mess with the native Android interface. The stock Android experience is simply faster and cleaner. Some manufacturers do come up with acceptable skins that help differentiate the phones, like HTC’s Sense UI and Samsung’s less intrusive TouchWiz interface. But we’re often less than pleased with more intrusive overlays, like Motorola’s Motoblur and Sony Ericsson’s Timescape electronic gadgets. They tend to bog down the phone and clutter the screen. Of course, software upgrades arrive much earlier for native Android phones, too.

High-tech features
Even though Google doesn’t require Android phones to have the best hardware out there, we do think it’s important for manufacturers to incorporate the latest technology if they want a successful Android phone. Recently, that has meant faster processors and improved graphic chipsets, which are increasingly important for consumers who want to watch HD video or play processor-intensive games.

But it’s not just about speed; all the other features need to be improved, too. We definitely want the basics like GPS, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, but also the ability to have a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot. The latest phones also have multimedia-friendly features like HDMI mirroring and DLNA support.

As for the camera, an 8-megapixel camera seems to be the standard for premium handsets, but the photo quality isn’t necessarily better. It would be more prudent for companies to focus on making a better sensor and improving the software. While we’re not sure video chat is something everyone will use, a front-facing camera is a nice bonus feature to have as well.

As 4G becomes more widespread, we also feel that the most successful Android phones will be able to take advantage of a 4G network, whether it be Sprint’s WiMax, Verizon’s LTE, T-Mobile’s HSPA+, or AT&T’s HSPA+ (and possible upcoming LTE network). Of course, it would be nice if the carriers offered a reliable and fast network as well.

Battery life
The biggest complaint about powerful Android smartphones like the Atrix 4G is that the battery life isn’t so great. If you can’t last a day without having to charge it, then the phone’s many features are worthless. This is especially a concern with the aforementioned dual-core phones with 4G speeds. However, this isn’t a pipe dream–we enjoyed decent battery life with the G2x, for example. Hopefully more manufacturers will find a way to marry high-tech features with better battery life.

Price
It goes without saying that the more affordable a phone is, the more successful it’ll be. A standard price tends to be around the $200 range for a premium phone that requires a two-year contract. We’ve also seen really great phones like the HTC Evo Shift 4G electronic gadgets sell for even less than that. Anything more than that tends to require a lot more justification.

Source from CNET

Pictures Leak Of New Sony NEX C3 Camera

25 Apr

Some rogue in the DP Review forums has posted pictures of the next entry in Sony’s NEX series, the C3. We just recently heard that the NEX-3 was being discontinued (though it still seems to be available) so perhaps this is its successor.

Rumored improvements are a improved shutter and sensor, as well as physical changes – but no 1080p yet. There’s also that cool new external flash, which one forum member insists will be back-compatible with other NEX cameras electronic gadgets. Sounds good to me. More pictures at Sony Alpha rumors. The leaker seems to have found an Alpha a35 too.

Source from CrunchGear

Former Sony boss Norio Ohga dies at 81

25 Apr

Norio Ohga, former Sony president, CEO and chairman who played an important development role in the company’s push to embrace compact disc formats, passed away in Japan this morning at the age of 81.

norio-ohga

Unfortunate news to report this morning. Norio Ohga, senior advisor and former president and chairman of the Sony Corporation, is dead at the age of 81. He died in Tokyo this morning at 9:14 a.m., the victim of multiple organ failure.

Ohga was named the company’s president in 1982 and later added the position of CEO to his title in 1989, the same year Sony purchased Columbia Pictures. He succeeded company co-founder Akio Morita as chairman in 1994 and held that position until 2003, when he formally retired and settled into an advisory role.

Perhaps one of Ohga’s greatest achievements during his time at the company was his spearheading of a Sony initiative to develop compact optical disc formats. He trained as a musician before coming to Sony, and it was that experience which led Ohga to push for the physical size and total running time of early CDs; his benchmark was to create something long enough for people to listen to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony all the way through without stopping. Compact discs have since made way for the MP3 of course, but Ohga’s efforts also led to the development of subsequent optical disc formats, such as CD-ROMs, DVDs and, most recently, Blu-ray discs.

Well before taking a top position at the company, Ohga also presided over the negotiations that led to the establishment of CBS/Sony Records, Inc. — now Sony Music Entertainment, Inc. — in 1968. The new record label hit the ground running, earning a reputation for building up a strong stable of artists, and it was a market leader by the end of the following decade. In addition to that and the purchase of Columbia Pictures, Ohga also played a key role in establishing Sony Computer Entertainment in 1993 and its PlayStation brand.

Current Sony chairman, CEO and president Sir Howard Stringer expressed his sadness and condolences in a statement. “When I first joined Sony in 1997, Ohga-san was serving on the frontlines of Sony management as Chairman and CEO. His numerous and successful endeavors were well-known both inside and outside of Sony. Witnessing Ohga-san’s leadership firsthand was truly an honor, and one I continued to enjoy and benefit from in countless ways in the years that followed.

By redefining Sony as a company encompassing both hardware and software, Ohga-san succeeded where other Japanese companies failed. It is no exaggeration to attribute Sony’s evolution beyond audio and video products into music, movies and game, and subsequent transformation into a global entertainment leader to Ohga-san’s foresight and vision.

Your iPhone’s watching you. Should you care?

22 Apr

Your iPhone’s watching you. Should you care?

Researchers announced today that they found what look like secret files on the iPhone that track user location and store it on the device, without the permission of the device owner. It’s unclear what the data is used for and why Apple has been collecting it in iOS electronic gadgets that carry a 3G antenna for nearly a year now.

Alasdair Allan, senior research fellow in astronomy at the University of Exeter, and writer Pete Warden, who discovered the log file and created a tool that lets users see a visualization of that data, say there’s no evidence of that information being sent to Apple or anybody else. Even so, the pair note that the data is unencrypted, giving anyone with access to your phone or computer where backups may be stored a way to grab the data and extrapolate a person’s whereabouts and routines.

Who are the researchers and how did they find this?
Warden, who used to work at Apple (though not on the iPhone), and Allan had been collaborating on some location data visualization projects, including a visualization of radiation levels over time in Japan after the earthquake, when Allan discovered the file on an iPhone. “After we dug further and visualized the extracted data, it became clear that there was a scary amount of detail on our movements,” they wrote in a blog post.

When did this start and what devices are tracking this data?
According to Allan and Warden, the tracking did not begin until iOS 4, which was released in late June 2010. This was the first version of iOS to drop support for devices like the original iPhone, with devices like the iPhone 3G and second-generation iPod Touch getting a more limited feature set. Along with iPhones, 3G-enabled iPads are also keeping track of the data, though it’s unclear if this is true for people who have 3G electronic gadgets without active cellular subscriptions.

The tracking data itself was actually discovered last year. A tool by French programmer Paul Courbis, that’s similar to the one released by Allan and Warden, is able to plot up to 10,000 of these data points from the database file to a Google Map. The issue was known in forensics circles but not widely, Allan and Warden said in a news conference this afternoon at the Where 2.0 conference in Santa Clara, Calif. An application they released that allows people to see what data is on individual devices makes the abstract tracking concept more real.

Did they contact Apple on their findings?
The researchers said they had contacted Apple’s Product Security team, but hadn’t heard back.

Where is this data being stored?
The database of location information is stored primarily on your phone, though due to the iOS device backup system in iTunes, these files can also end up on your computer. When iTunes saves these backups, which are set by default to be stored every time you sync an iOS device, the data file goes along with it.

What’s curious is that this log can extend across multiple devices as long as those electronic gadgets use the same restore point. Allan and Warden noted that the database used as part of the project spanned an iPhone 3GS and an iPhone 4, the latter of which had used a restore point.

The researchers have more technical details and the downloadable application to see a visualization of the data collected from your phone over time here. The application does not work with iPhones on Verizon, the researchers said.

What’s inside this data?
A database of cell tower coordinates and timestamps to indicate when your device was connecting with them. This includes what operator you’re on and the country code. The research also found that Apple was tracking data about what Wi-Fi networks you were connecting to, which also included slightly less accurate location information, but continued to track that data by time. The researchers’ visualization app shows large blue dots for frequent activity and smaller red or orange-colored dots for less frequent activity. However, it’s unclear exactly what is triggering the logging, they said.

Is there an easier way to see that information than a giant database form?
Yes, Allan and Warden created an open-source software program that is able to go through the data from the database file and turn it into a visualization of what towers your device connected to based on the dates and times. The pair say the application intentionally cuts down on the accuracy of this data to keep the software from being used for bad things. You’re also likely to see points in places you haven’t been, since the tracking tools within the iPhone make use of nearby cell towers to triangulate location. “As a data geek I was excited to have this data set, but I don’t want anyone else to have this data,” Allan said.

What is the harm with this data being collected and stored on the device?
“By passively logging your location without your permission, Apple [has] made it possible for anyone from a jealous spouse to a private investigator to get a detailed picture of your movements,” the researchers wrote in their FAQ.

While acknowledging that there is no need to panic, the researchers noted that if someone gets hold of the device, they can access the unencrypted data. “Your cell operator has this information,” they said in the news conference. Anyone who wants it has “to get a court order to get that from a provider. But now, all you have to do is lose your phone electronic gadgets in a bar.”

Apps on the device cannot access the data, because it is “sandboxed,” the researchers said. However, it could be accessed by software on the computer that holds the backup, they said.

How do I protect this data from being seen by others?
The data file itself is completely unencrypted, meaning anyone who gets hold of it can access the data freely. On the iTunes side, there’s an option to encrypt your backups, which will keep someone who gets access to a backup file while rummaging through your hard drive from being able to dig through it and pull out the database file.

To enable that feature, click on the device icon when it’s plugged into iTunes, then check the “Encrypt iPhone Backup” item in the “Options” area. As for your iPhone, or iPad with 3G, your best bet is to keep someone else from getting it in the first place, and then using Apple’s free “Find My iPhone” app to do a remote wipe if it’s lost or stolen.

How do I turn this tracking off?
Right now there’s no way to turn the tracking off, since it’s baked into the operating system. Turning off GPS will make the device less functional for location-based services such as mapping.

Can Apple do this?
According to the iTunes terms and conditions, yes. The company pretty clearly spells out its right to “collect, use, and share” location data any time it pleases.

That said, the company made a big kerfuffle about making third-party application providers–as well as the built-in Google Maps application–alert users when location was being used by including an arrow in the status bar that is required to appear whenever the phone is sending or receiving location data. This feature came as part of iOS 4, which is when the company began the tracking process.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs also made it a point during an interview at the D8 conference last year that privacy was a topic of utmost importance to the company. “Before any app can get location data, they can’t just put up a panel asking if it can use location, they call our panel and it asks you if it’s OK,” Jobs said. “That’s one of the reasons we have the curated App Store. A lot of the people in the Valley think we’re old-fashioned about this. But we take it seriously.”

Why is Apple doing this?
Apple has not responded to requests for comment. Allan and Warden suggest the company has been using this tracking technology as a precursor to extended location-based services it plans to add as a part of a future version of iOS.

Backing that claim up is an Apple patent application that surfaced back in February, which showed that Apple was considering a service called “Places.” Based on the filing, the service would offer Apple electronic gadgets owners a way to locate one another using GPS. While there are third-party applications like Loopt, Foursquare, and Beluga that let people do this, such a feature would presumably be a built-in part of the phone, and rely on geodata logging for any past history features.

“There are legitimate use cases here, but the matter underscores the need for vendors to be clear about what data they collect and what they are doing with it,” said Kevin Mahaffey, chief technology officer of mobile security provider Lookout in a call with CNET.

Is Apple the only one doing this?
Android does not appear to do this, sources familiar with the platform said. A Google spokeswoman said the company had no comment on the matter. A Microsoft representative told CNET that the company’s Windows Phone platform does not store location history, and that the “Find My Phone” service only keeps the phone’s most recent location.

Source from CNET

iPhone 4 running iOS 5 Captured on Video

20 Apr

iOS 5.0 has been captured running on a white iPhone 4 tech gadgets over in Vietnam. The video comes from Tinhte.vn who also leaked a number of iPhone 4 videos last year.

What we see on the new version of iOS is a slight change to multi-tasking in that you get thumbnails of each app open across the whole screen, rather than the regular taskbar that slides up from the bottom of the screen.

We could be looking at the real iOS 5.0 here (an early beta), or we could be looking at a jailbroken device with a few apps installed to give the Exposé style multitasking window. What gives it a hint of being real is that it comes from the site that also leaked the iPhone 4 tech gadgets reliably last year. Some aspects of the OS look a bit clunky at the moment, but as iOS 5 is still months away, we can expect that.

What also isn’t known at the moment is if we are looking at a genuine white iPhone 4, or just a fake with white replacement parts.

The video below gives a demonstration of how it all works and if real, a small glimpse of what could be coming to the iPhone 4 and 5 tech gadgets later this year.

Source: Engadget,gadgetvenue

MSI rolls out Core i3-based CX640, CR640 laptops

19 Apr

MSI’s already had a fairly productive month when it comes to new laptops tech gadgets, but it’s not done quite yet — the company has now also rolled out its new 15.6-inch CX640 and CR640 models, which each boast what MSI calls a “clutter free design,” as well as some budget-friendly prices. As for specs, both pack an Intel Core i3-2310M processor, 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive (not to mention two USB 3.0 ports), while the silver CX640 upgrades things from the basic integrated Intel HD 3000 graphics on the black CR640 model to NVIDIA’s GeForce GT 520M with Optimus technology. Sound like the mid-range laptop you’ve been waiting for? Then you can grab your choice of the CR640 or CX640 tech gadgets today for $630 or $680.

Source from Engadget

Dell Streak 7 tablet released in the UK priced £299

15 Apr

Dell’s latest tablet tech gadgets, the Android powered Dell Streak 7 has gone on sale in the UK with the 7-inch device landing will a respectable £299 price tag.

Building on the original Dell Streak, a 5-inch middle ground between smartphone and tablet, the new Streak 7 is now available to buy in the UK via the Dell online store following its official unveiling earlier in the year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Sporting a 7-inch multitouch capable display with 800 x 400p resolution, the Streak 7 tech gadgets will come boasting a 5-megapixel rear-mounted camera with a second 1.3-meg snapper to be found residing on the front. All of this is to come wrapped around an NVIDIA Tegra 2 processor and Google’s Android 2.2, FroYo, mobile operating system.

Finished with 16GB of internal storage, the Dell Streak 7 will attempt to challenge the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab as top 7-inch tablet offerings, a title that is expected to be taken by the HTC Flyer when the Taiwanese company’s first tablet hits the UK on May 9th.

Can 7-inch tech gadgets forge a market for themselves between 4-inch smartphones and 10-inch tablets? Let us know what you think via the T3 Twitter and Facebook feeds.

Via: GeekyGadgets

MSI’s Fusion-powered X370 laptop gets $579 price tag, hits Amazon and Newegg

15 Apr

Our story about MSI’s X370 electronic gadgets ultraportable getting a dose of AMD Fusion ended on a cliffhanger — the company stopped short of revealing just how much the thing would cost. Well, now we have our answer: this 13.4-incher comes with a $599 price tag and is up for grabs on Newegg. (Amazon already cut the price to $579, but isn’t shipping it yet yet.)

For the money, that sub-$600 sticker includes AMD’s new Zacate E-350 APU, 4GB of RAM, integrated Radeon HD 6310 graphics, a 500GB hard drive, a 4-in-1 memory card reader, HDMI and VGA output, a 1.3 megapixel webcam, and an 8-cell battery that MSI claims can last up to ten hours.
While it earlier seemed that consumers would get their pick of hard drives and batteries, it’s available in just one configuration for now — not that you would have been tempted to downgrade to a 4-cell, anyway.

Source from Engadget

Marc by Marc Jacobs metallic iPhone cases

12 Apr

We love these super shiny iPhone cases designed for Marc by Marc Jacobs. Whether you’re an iPhone 3Gs or iPhone 4 electronic gadgets user there’s a choice of two slightly different styles to accomodate your handset and both come in a choice of metallic pink, turquoise or hematite (bronze).

When fashion designers venture into the realm of tech, the result is sometimes a little impractical and (dare I say it) pretentious, but these cases are subtly branded and usable, the only question is which colour should we go for?

They’re both available from Neiman Marcus for $38.00.

Via Chip Chick.